News Releases

December 30, 2020: District Attorney George Gascón Issues Statement on Legal Challenge and Commends Court for Declining to Issue a TRO

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From serving as a beat cop with the LAPD to Chief of Police in some of America’s most conservative and progressive cities, I have spent my life ensuring those who pose a threat to our community are held accountable and kept away from the rest of us.

During those years, enhancements and strike allegations have never been shown to enhance our safety. In fact, studies have shown excessive sentences exacerbate recidivism and create more victims in the future.  For these reasons, as your elected District Attorney, I have asked Deputy District Attorneys entering an appearance “for the people” to end excessive sentencing practices. Data shows these harsh tactics compromise our community’s long-term health and safety, create more hardened criminals and victims, and therefore are not in the interests of justice.

After a summer of unrest, Los Angeles County voters embraced this new, modern approach. The will of the voters must not be mistaken as a commentary on the hundreds of Deputy DAs who labor, day in and day out, to protect the public. They are public servants who have earned our utmost respect and gratitude.  They certainly have mine – and a sincere invitation to join me in making these much-needed changes. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, this new approach will take some fine-tuning and a tolerance for change. I invite open and respectful debate based on the facts, however, the people have spoken, the direction is clear and, in the end, we all want the same things – safety and equal justice under the law.

Despite today’s legal challenge, I believe a collaborative path exists to achieve these goals based on what research shows, what voters want, and what LA County deserves. I commend the court for its decision today, but ultimately it will take all of us, working together, to get this done.